Friday, June 18, 2010

Reaping the Benefits from Education

Back in January I took a fruit tree pruning class at UC Davis - kind of the holy grail of fruit trees in the U.S. It was a great one day class with lots of hands on time - aka hacking the heck out of poor, innocent adolescent fruit trees.

The two instructors are both PhDs in Pruning, I am not kidding, though I am sure they have proven competencies in other aspects of fruit trees and horticulture.

If I left this class with one message it was - "If in doubt, cut it out". I was quite shocked at the hacking and slashing that went on. They just cut, cut, cut, obviously choosing their cuts but in some cases cut half of the growth off the trees.
 Being new to this whole gardening and green thumb stuff, I was fairly shocked, it seemed to go against my whole "don't touch it, leave it as nature put it and hope this one doesn't die" approach. Hmmm, guess I have been wrong!

We have so many pear, apple, walnut and plum trees that have been so long neglected that it was time to heed the advice I garnered in that cold, bleak field in the central Valley of CA and begin the massacre. I only attacked about a third of our trees and did it on a day that Kyle was at work so I wouldn't have to hear the cries of horror as I mutilated his babies.

Fast forward to now mid-June and WOW! I will tell you the difference in the trees that I pruned is unbelievable. They are thick and lush and green, they look healthy and are producing much healthier and robust fruit. I will let you know if they taste better, but word on the street is that pruning makes a big difference to taste too.

So go out there this winter and hack away at those fruit trees, eliminate all that vigor and you will reap the rewards next summer in some tasty fruit.

No comments:

Post a Comment